On December 7, 2018, The 5000 Role Models of Excellence Chapter at Pompano Beach Middle School had a fun filled aviation experience at the Good Year Blimp Base in Pompano Beach, FL. The 5000 Role Model of Excellence (RME) is a mentoring program for boys that was created in Miami Dade over 25 years ago by Congresswoman Frederica Wilson. Currently, the program is being used in multiple school districts around the country. This is the second year of its implementation in Broward County Public Schools.
“Engagement and Exposure result in Prevention which is our main focus for our young men!” said Mr. Antonio Burgess, coordinator of The 5000 Role Models of Excellence program in Broward. Goodyear has operated a Blimp base in Pompano Beach, Florida, since 1979. The student’s experience included a tour of the three sections of the Good Year Blimp.
The sections are the envelope, the gondola, and movement and steering. Students were given the opportunity to learn about the functions of the three sections and provided with an overview of services. They learned for example that the Pompano Beach Blimp Base, one of three bases, is located at the Pompano Beach Airport and features a separate office building that serves the pilots, base administrator and public relations specialist.
The staff shared recent data that minorities make up only 2.7% of the aviation industry to illustrate the potential professional opportunity a career in aviation could provide. “The role models really enjoyed the trip and plan to return for part two,” said 5000 RME site director Gregory Mitchell.
The 5000 Role Models of Excellence is a mentoring program operating at the elementary, middle and high school levels through the Broward County Public Schools’ Department of Equity and Diversity which is led by Mr. David Watkins, director. “Our goal is to prepare boys to be college and career ready by providing adult role models that connect young men to resources, access, and opportunities. Our programming and services contribute to a reduction in suspensions, truancy, and negative behaviors, which improves academics. This visit to the Goodyear Blimp Base is an example of how we strive to expose our boys to experiences and opportunities that will positively impact their lives” said Mr. Watkins.
For more information about 5000 Role Models of Excellence, please contact Mr. Antonio Burgess, Coordinator at (754) 322-